Did you know that being smart is something you develop and not necessarily something you’re born with?
It’s possible to become smarter over time with the right habits. Here are some of the best habits you can develop that will help you think differently, solve problems more easily, and grow yourself.
If you asked most well-known thinkers and innovators of the world, they’ll tell you that the most important habit you can develop is reading.
Reading books gives you knowledge you’ve never had before and makes it possible for you to enter the minds of the greatest people who’ve lived on earth.
Find ways to make reading a regular habit. Keeping a book by your bedside will make it more likely that you’ll read. Or commit to reading one page a day and you’ll find that you actually end up reading more. Today, you don’t need to carry around a paperback book to read. You can use eReaders and also listen to audiobooks if they’re more convenient for you.
Reading is a powerful habit but it isn’t enough to help you grow. You also need to think about what you’ve learned and analyze your own thoughts.
Journaling on a daily basis will help you express what’s going on in your mind. When you write down your daily thoughts and actions, you’ll be able to find patterns in your thinking and address them.
Journaling and freewriting allows you to process surface-level thoughts. At some point, you’ll start getting creative and original ideas that help you find new solutions for problems you face.
Play strategy games
Games force you to think logically and develop your powers of thinking. Playing games like chess, doing Sudoku, or some other kind of strategic game can help you develop your analytical and logical skills.
You’ll also develop the ability to think under pressure, something that you can apply at work, in your personal life, and in the running of your business.
Use mental models
Mental models are frameworks that help you think more rationally. There are different mental models that you can use based on your preference.
Charles Munger, one of the world’s best investors, uses the ‘Inversion’ model to harness his mind. The idea is to think of the very opposite of the result you want. What actions and conditions lead to an undesirable outcome?
When you study this, you’re able to clearly understand what you should be doing to get the results you want. For example, the way to alienate your family would be to forget important family events and to focus solely on work. Doing the opposite, that is, making an effort to be present for birthdays, graduations, and placing boundaries for work will give you what you want – a deeper connection with the people you love.
Similarly, you can use other mental models to think more rationally and become smarter.
Do online courses
It’s important to keep challenging yourself by learning new things. And doing online courses doesn’t just make you smarter, it also helps you develop skills that serve you in your professional and personal life.
There are many online courses available online that you can learn from. You have paid and free options that will help you build any skill you need. Some 42% of people use YouTube to build new skills for free. Learning something even for a small amount of time every day can transform your life before you know it.
Another way to use online learning to become smarter is to teach others and start your own online course. When you teach people what you know, you have to think differently and simplify difficult concepts into simple terms. As you teach other people, you increase your own knowledge.
We’ve covered five habits that can help you become smarter faster. The important thing is to keep working on them on a steady basis over time. Avoid trying to do too much at once or you’ll experience burnout.
Being smart or intelligent is more about habits and actions rather than an internal characteristic you’re born with. Work with the suggestions given here and you’ll feel more productive and confident.